Saturday, December 5, 2009

Curried Pumpkin Soup

Curried Pumpkin Soup

First, let’s talk about that pumpkin. As we have discussed before, this is an excellent symbol of the harvest. Its round shape represents fertility and abundance. The seeds are also symbols of fertility and can be toasted and eaten, or dried and marked with runes for divination. If you like to do things the slower way, maybe you’ve purchased a pumpkin and roasted it yourself. If so, good for you. Roasting the pumpkin intensifies the flavor and brings out a lovely sweetness. If you’re short on time, however, canned or raw pumpkin will work just as well. This recipe is partially about the spice.

2 medium onions, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced or grated
1 hot red chili, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ½ cups pumpkin (used canned or roasted, whichever you have)
3 cups water
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth
1 14-oz can coconut milk
3 tablespoons butter or oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, melt butter and cook onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chili, and spices. Stir to coat everything with the spice mixture and cook 2 more minutes.

Add the pumpkin, water and broth and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes. Add the coconut milk and continue simmering for another 5-10 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in your blender or use a stick immersion blender to blend until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot. Soup can be thinned with a little extra water or stock if it’s too thick for your liking.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro leaves if desired.

Not in the mood for soup? You can also turn this into a satisfying, chunky curry to serve over rice. Use cubes of roasted pumpkin instead of canned, and omit the water and stock, keeping the coconut milk.

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